Eudora City Commission

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Fibre-Optic-Cable

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Eudora may soon have an answer for those that want high speed fiber internet services: RG Fiber.  At the Eudora City Commission meeting Monday night, the commission signed a deal with RG Fiber that could bring business and residential gigabit fiber to Eudora. While their name may not be Google, the service they would provide would be comparable to Google Fiber which has set up service in multiple areas of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.

The licensing agreement signed between the city and RG Fiber will allow the company to use current right of way areas to bury fiber optic cable through the city that would provide internet and related services to Eduora.  The agreement also specifically states that RG is not granted the rights to provide standard cable television or home phone services to the city.

RG Fiber, which is based in Baldwin City, currently has a deal in place with Baldwin City and Baker University to provide high speed internet service to that community along with phone and cable TV.   This deal would allow, RG Fiber to bring their service from locations north of Eudora and help set up the backbone that can provide that service to Baldwin City.

This deal has been in the works for some time. It all began several months ago when Mike Bosch, co-founder of RG Fiber, was approached by Eudora School Superintendent Steve Splichal about services for the School District. To make those services happen, the deal with the city needed to be put into place first.  Besides providing gigabit internet service to the Eudora School District, there are also some other services RG Fiber wold be doing for the District.

Now the question is what services will the School District be getting? That is unknown right now. We talked to several School District officials last week and all of them had no comment about what other services there might be. Bosch did confirm to Eudorareporter.com that there is some other things planned in regards to the School District, but declined to say exactly what they are stating that would be for the School District to announce when they are ready.

Other parts of the contract the City signed with RG Fiber state that the company has 15 months from the execution of the agreement to have the first hookups. If they don’t meet that deadline, they would start paying a penalty. Bosch told the Commission that he feels confident that hookups will start in 12 months.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Bosch said. “There is some impressive community leadership here and they all came together to make this happen very quickly.”

Bosch said the plan is to start a marketing campaign in the next few weeks to ascertain how much interest there is in the community for signing up subscribers to the gigabit internet service.  He told us that to make the installation into the neighborhoods cost effective, a good percentage of each neighborhood would need to agree to sign up for the service, before they start laying fiber.  If there are enough subscribers in each neighborhood, then fiber would proceed in those neighborhoods.  Bosch told us several weeks ago that the percentage would need to be in the area of 40% or better. He also stated that number could fluctuate depending on costs and available capital.

Bosch did not state what the exact cost would be for fiber internet service in Eudora. He said that would be determined in the next few weeks.  The initial pricing structure for Baldwin City is $75 per month for the service.  He did state that his research showed that fiber speeds would be about 100 times faster than what customers of WOW cable service currently receive.

Outgoing Eudora Mayor John Fiore was pleased to have this deal executed shortly before his term on the Commission ended.

“I am extremely excited about this service coming to Eudora and being a part of the team that made it happen,” Fiore said. “The economic impact from this service could be huge to the community.”

Newly selected Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin was happy with the decision as well.

“This is a great opportunity for both businesses and residents,” Reazin said.  Echoing the comments that Fiore had stated, he went on to say that he looked forward to having the higher speeds available and bring alternative internet service to the community.

 

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Vote

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Citizens headed to the polls on Tuesday to decide on who will run their City, School District and if the sales tax should be raised.

In the City Commission race, Incumbent Ruth Hughs easily won re-election for her second full term by garnering 398 votes. Hughs was appointed to the Commission to replace Fred Stewart in 2010 and was elected to a four year term in 2011. Similar to 2011, Hughs won the race by a large margin.

“I am truly honored to have the support of the citizens and be re-elected to serve four more years,” Hughs said following the win. “I am looking so forward to being a part of the plans the city has for the future.”

Maria Nelson will be making a return to the City Commission as well.  Coming in second to Hughs with 327 votes, Nelson said she was happy to be back on the Commission.

“I love being involved with the city,” Nelson told us. “Having the opportunity to once again work with the staff of the city and be a part of the decisions that shape this town is very exciting.”

Nelson served one term on the then City Council from 2007 until 2011. Nelson narrowly lost in the 2011 election.

Tim Bruce won the third and final seat up for election, getting 300 votes. Bruce also serves as President of the Chamber of Commerce.

Finishing in a distant 4th and 5th place were Justin Eddings (165 votes) and Chris Fiedler (138 votes).

Bruce and Nelson will replace Mayor John Fiore and Commissioner Kenny Massey, both whom decided to not run for election.

One of the first items on the new Commission’s docket will be to look at how to spend the new approved sales tax money.  The decision to raise the city sales tax by 3/4 of a percent narrowly passed.  The final count was 317 – 257 to approve the increase.

“I am very thankful to the citizens and thrilled they have the faith in us as good stewards of the tax money,” Mayor John Fiore told us. “I am confident the city will return and investment that benefits the citizens and that Eudora will generate a product greater than most other communities.”

Ruth Hughs was delighted and trilled that the sales tax increase passed.

“I am looking forward to the projects this will fund,” Hughs said.

It will be interesting to see what this does fund. City officials have said in their presentations to bolster this increase that the most important item the city wants to do is expand the Rec Center to include more workout facilities and look at adding an indoor walking facility. Will the estimated $2.7 million the tax is expected to raise over the course of 10 years fund all that and have any leftover for other projects such as CPA Park? Time will tell.

Over at the School District, two long time incumbents easily won re-election bids. Joe Pyle led the pack with 448 votes. Mark Chrislip came in second with 398 votes. This will be Pyle’s fourth term on the Board and Chrislip’s seventh term.  Two newcomers will join Pyle and Chrislip.

Bryan Maring won a seat by finishing third with 370 votes. This was Maring’s third attempt to win a School Board race having fallen short in 2011 and 2013.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Maring stated. “When you can give back to a community that has given my family so much over the last ten years, it’s a wonderful feeling.”

Taking the final position on the School Board is Lynn Reazin. Reazin received 333 votes to claim the final spot.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity,” Reazin said. “There are a lot of challenges ahead for the District and I am excited to be a part of it and help out.”

Reazin served the Eudora Elementary School PTO and spent time on the Eudora Schools Foundation Board before deciding to run for the School Board. Her win also creates an interesting partnership in Eudora as her husband, Tim Reazin has sat on the City Council/Commission since 2007 and currently is the city’s Vice-Mayor.

Kelly Holder received 290 votes in the last and Michael Howard came in at 212.

Voting results are unofficial until the canvas by the Douglas County Clerk’s office which is set for April 16. Once the vote is certified, the new Commissioners will take over at the April 27 City Commission meeting. The new School Board members will take over during the summer.

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Vote

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With Election Day coming on Tuesday, we want to make sure you have as much knowledge as possible to make an informed decision about the people who will govern your town and run your School District.  Below are links to all the profiles that we were provided with.  You can click on the picture or the candidate to read the profile.

City Commission Candidates

Tim Bruce
Tim Bruce
Justin Eddings
Justin Eddings
chris_fiedler
Chris Fiedler
Ruth Hughs
Ruth Hughs
Marian Nelson
Maria Nelson

Voters will be selecting three candidates for the City Commission.

School Board Candidates

Mark Chrislip
Mark Chrislip
Kelly HolderKelly Holder
Person Outline
Michael Howard
(no profile provided)
BryanMaring
Bryan Maring
Person OutlineJoe Pyle
(no picture provided. Click to read profile)
Lynn Reazin
Lynn Reazin

Voters will be selecting four candidates for the School Board.

Also on the ballot is a question to raise the sales tax.

Shall a retailers’ sales tax in the amount of three-quarters of one percent (0.75%) be levied in the City of Eudora, Kansas, for the purposes of generating revenue needed to provide an effective level of public services within the City, to improve, construct, equip and maintain the public fitness and aquatic facilities including but not limited to sports parks, indoor and outdoor/fitness trails, and to provide funding for other capital expenditures.  

 A Yes vote authorizes the increase in the sales tax. A No vote does not authorize the increase.

Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Tuesday.

West Eudora (Precinct 50) will vote at the Eudora Church of Christ – 1530 Winchester Road

North Eudora (Precinct 52) will vote at Eudora City Hall – 4 East 7th Street

South Eudora (Precinct 53) will vote at the Eudora Township Fire Station – 310 East 20th Street

Central Eudora (Precinct 54) will vote at the Eudora Rec Center – 1638 Elm Street

Remember, to vote in the election, you will need to show a picture ID per Kansas law.

We will have complete election coverage Tuesday night after the polls close and the ballots are counted.

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chris_fiedlerCity Commission Candidate Chris Fiedler

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we wrap up our City Commission Candidate Profiles with Chris Fiedler.

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the City Commission.

I served as a City Councilman in Oklahoma. Having previously worked in all forms of emergency services, I know what they go through and the things they need including support from their community. As a councilman I was able to bring people together from different areas for the same cause. I worked with different organizations to help raise funds for their cause. The city I served carried an annual budget of 32 Million, solely based on city sales tax and city services. I listen and take into consideration what the community wants and I know how to fight for what’s right.

Voters in this election will be asked if they want to raise the City sales tax by 3⁄4 of a percent to help fund the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and other capital expenditures. If this passes, what specific needs would you recommend that money going towards?

I would ask for a complete review of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and an update. We need to find out just exactly what the citizens want and how to spend their tax dollars. Compare what the community wants to what the city staff has come up with on their list of specific needs. We also need to look into the future 5 to 10 years. (Possibly even 15 to 20 years.) We are asking people to pay more tax, so we need to be very transparent and listen to what the citizens want.

Where do you feel the city is in regards to Economic Development and what would you do in regards to Economic Development in the future?

I have previous experience bringing new businesses into my area. I will build a good rapport with the current business to keep them here. I will make myself available to meet with new business owners looking to locate here and go to meetings with the Commerce Department or wherever I need to be. I have traveled to Nashville to meet with firearms manufacturing wanting to relocate to McAlester and Missouri to meet with an ammunition manufacturer. You have to get out in front of them and sell your city. We have to come up with a set of incentives that are available to current and new businesses. By having a City Commissioner at meetings it shows how serious we are. But, the city needs to consider hiring an Economic Development Director, also possibly an Assistant Director. In some cities they have combined the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development in one group and separate from city offices, in its own location. Economic Development needs to be able to work continuously with our neighbors and state and federal Departments of Commerce. It is easier to grow Economic Development in a community with just one person overseeing it.

The most visible piece of land available for development is the property where the old Nottingham School and Laws Field currently sit, As a City Commissioner, what specifically would you like to see done with this property?

I believe it’s up to the citizens of Eudora what to with it. Something we do not have and I think would be a great addition to Eudora, would be a year round Expo Center. The main hall would be a wide open space where you could hold anything from meetings to weddings to company holiday parties. Make space available to rent and equip the meeting rooms with PA systems and two-way video conferencing. An Expo Center can work and make money as long as it is setup for year round use. We can use green energy to help with heating and cooling and the electric. It would be a big positive for the city and would help grow Economic Development.

What other issues do you think are important that the City Commission should look at?

The city’s infrastructure is the key to success. Schools and school safety is a top priority for our children by providing safe places for walking and not in the streets. The city needs to build bicycle routes to accommodate growing number of bicycle riders to keep them out of the way of traffic. The city needs to take up the possibility of a bus route through Eudora, connecting us to Lawrence and Johnson County. I also feel it an important necessity having an Ambulance stationed in Eudora at all times.

Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?

I lost my mother last year and she was my biggest fan when I was a City Councilman. I feel I can make a difference in the community. I live in Eudora and care about my neighbors and the businesses here. I see Eudora’s potential in growing in the right direction and I would like to be a part of it.

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The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day.

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JustinEddingsCity Commission Candidate Justin Eddings

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we feature City Commission Candidate Justin Eddings.

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the City Commission

I am a Senior User Experience Designer for Sprint.  In that role I work to make the applications, phones, and Sprint services easier to understand and use for all users neurotypical & fully abled as well as physically challenged and neurodiverse. In addition, I have been the Eudora representative to the Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee, advocating for county and state dollars for infrastructure to help better connect our community to pedestrians and cyclists. My primary focus has been working to connect our schools, recreation facilities, and downtown. I believe that efforts of sustainability can be profitable, increase the pubic health, and makes for a more pleasant world.
Voters in this election will be asked if they want to raise the City sales tax by ¾ of a percent to help fund the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and other capital expenditures. If this passes, what specific needs would you recommend that money going towards?
The sales tax increase is a good way to increase the funds our city has to improve the recreation center, connect our parks, and to increase the programs potentially offered by our recreation department. Lawrence and our neighbors in Johnson County give our citizens many recreation options when they are not at work, we should have interesting options here to keep families in town during their off hours.
Where do you feel the city is in regards to economic development and what would you do in regards to economic development in the future?
We have an opportunity to capture small businesses pushed out of Lawrence due to congestion and real estate. Downtown has the potential to extend it’s charm even further than recent efforts have proven. Cafes, small retail, and easier to sustain businesses should be attracted to vacant spaces. Eudora citizens will support business in town, but it has to be competitive or unique to our neighbors. I want to see more small businesses start and thrive here.
The most visible piece of land available for development is the property where the old Nottingham School and Laws Field currently sit. As a City Commissioner, what specifically would like to see done with this property?
Many ideas have been batted around recently on this particular topic. I feel that 1/3 of the property should be retained by the Recreation Center for growth. If the running track disappears, it would a be a good idea to build a new path or track surrounding the recreation center at a minimum. The remainder could be developed in a variety of ways. What seems attractive to me, as an entrance to our town, is a two story building matching the tone and character of our town. This could be divided into small retail on the first story. The second story could be larger office spaces to give our existing businesses, such as Readiness Rounds, room to expand and hopefully employ more citizens. I do not want more duplexes or apartment buildings to be part of the welcome mat for Eudora.
What other issues do you think are important that the City Commission should look at?
Having a K-10 bus connection to Lawrence and Johnson County could be a easy way to connect our communities without asking our citizens to drive more. This connection could also provide our citizens who already carpool a safer way to park and join up for their rides to work. Our schools must be connected to our community with sidewalks or paths that allow our children to walk or ride bikes to school safely. Attracting another medium to large business to the industrial park would also give our citizens more opportunity and us a stronger tax base.
Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?
Communities are about people who want to share what they love about a place with their neighbors. I love Eudora and I feel that it’s my responsibility to help it grow. I feel that both the city commission & bicycle advisory comity are wonderful ways to help that growth.

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The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.

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